Saturday, February 28, 2009

And now... the Rest of the Story

The radio legend Paul Harvey passed away today :( He was 90 years old. I will greatly miss your 6 o'clock biographical/historical chat, Mr. Harvey. No one can do pauses like you!

In other news, we went to my husband's cousin's daughter's first birthday party today. So when I got home, I did what any mother of a 2-week-old would do... I started to make a birthday bunting for my son! Yes, I have fifty weeks until he turns one. So?

There's lots of blog entries out there dedicated to creating birthday buntings; I liked this one, although I'm not exactly following it. I did use it as a jumping off point, though.

I liked that she sewed the fronts and backs with right sides together and then turned them right side out so that the seams are on the inside. Many of the buntings out there are made with a single piece of fabric with the edges trimmed with pinking shears. That look is nice too, however I'd be afraid that it would fray over time. Since I plan on using this bunting forever, I just can't have frayed edges. Joel will be in his sixties, and I in my nineties, and I'll still be dragging the darn thing out...

I can't free hand letters very well, as evidenced by the baby blocks that I made. So instead of freehanding the letters, I found a font I liked in Microsoft Word, made it large enough, and then traced around the letters onto paper right off the computer screen. I then pinned the letters onto the felt and cut them out. Voila! Much better looking!

I haven't sewed the fronts to the backs yet, nor have I sewed the felt letters onto the fabric, however I decided to photograph a few of the little flags for your viewing pleasure. Notice the word that the chosen flags spell out... "DIRTY." That was a total coincidence! They even came out in that exact order! I think the sewing gods are trying to tell me something. Tear yourself away from your sewing machine for a little while so you can clean your house, damnit!

I had to use some heart fabric since my son was born on Valentine's Day!
Here's the same fabric I used for the the NY Rangers bib the other day.

Update: I finished the bunting today. Let me just say that bias tape is the devil. I thrifted a whole bag of it several weeks ago, so I figured now would be a nice time to use some of it. I planned on folding it over the top edge and sewing it down, however that wasn't working out for me. Instead, I ripped out the seam I had begun and started over with steam-a-seam. I decided to not fold the bias tape over, and instead used two strips of bias tape, one for the front and one for the back, held in place with steam-a-seam. I then stitched the top to keep the bias tapes connected together. That probably made no sense ... sorry. If you want to know more, I can try to explain it better. Right now I am sleep deprived from having a 15-day-old!

And now you know ... the rest of the story!
Update: here's the bunting in use at his first birthday party :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Relaxation Sounds

I totally love this website. It's a site that lets you choose up to five different relaxation sounds to play simultaneously. My favorite combination is wind chimes, flute song, creek, and bird sounds. Try it! I'm trying it out on my son right now. It doesn't seem to be working.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Greeting Card Mathematics

Well I haven't been thrifting for several days since my mom has been here. I'm starting to get the itch. We did, however, go to the mall yesterday, discovered and was saddened that my coveted Chick-fil-A went out of business, figured out how to use the stroller, and scored some awesome greeting cards for 90% off from a soon-to-be-out-of-business Carlton Cards. I got over thirty dollars worth of cards for a mere $3-something! I got a rabbit thank you card for my mom for all the help that she's been this past week, birthday cards for tons of family members... the list goes on and on! I now have two years worth of birthday cards for my parents, husband, brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and husband's cousin's daughter, and am covered for 2009 for just about everyone else. Does anyone else do that? I like to buy up cards when they're really cheap and save them in a little drawer so I don't have to run out and spend full price when the time comes. If you do the math, the amount I'm saving is quite staggering. Now if I could just get my husband to think ahead and buy my cards cheaply. Or maybe I should just start buying my own cards to give to him to give to me...

My husband comes from a big family. There's two parents, a sister, brother-in-law, two nephews, a grandma, two aunts, two uncles, three cousins, a cousin's spouse, and a cousin's child, plus my husband and our son. And that's just his mom's side of the family. We're not very close to his dad's side, so we don't send cards or gifts to them.

Then for my side of the family, I send cards to my parents, brother, aunt, and grandma. That's 23 birthdays I have to buy for. That's not to mention the three friends I send birthday cards too, so now we're up to 26. There's also graduations, weddings, showers, get-well-soons, thank-yous, sympathies, etc. for which I keep cards on hand, but since the number of those fluctuate each year, I will leave them out of my count. Plus there's mother's day and father's day, for a grand total of at least 31 cards I buy each year. If you figure that most cards cost somewhere between 2.99 and 3.99, we'll take the average and multiply times 31, and we get $77.50. In actuality, however, I usually spend 50c on greeting cards (and my haul at Carlton Cards yielded cards for even less than that!). If you multiply 31 by 50 cents, we see that I'm spending only about $15.50 on cards per year. Yay :)

My favorite place to get greeting cards is The Book Loft in German Village. For those of you who live in Columbus, you should totally check it out. It's 32 rooms of book-buying wonderment. Down in the basement of one of the wings is the 50c card room. They have greeting cards throughout the store in many of the 32 rooms, but when they get new inventory and have to pull older cards off the shelves, they get priced with a dot-sticker and then go to the basement. I can spend F.O.R.E.V.E.R in that little room, looking at each card, filling up my basket with cards for cheap. I feel sad for these cards that have been banished to the basement... a greeting card graveyard of sorts. But it makes me happy that I am able to purchase them and give them a good home!

Now I know that dollar stores sell cards two for a dollar, so why is buying from The Book Loft better? Well first of all because it's not a chain. The Book Loft is an independent book store, owned and operated here in Columbus. Second, the cards at the Book Loft are not the same kind of cards you would get at the Dollar Store. They're not Hallmark or American Greetings either... they're unique and unusual! No offense if you buy Dollar Store cards... truth be told, we do sometimes too!

Speaking of greeting cards, does anyone else recycle them to extend their life? I have a large basket full of cards that sits upon my Hoosier Cabinet. I am getting into scrapbooking, so I have been dismantling my old cards to use in a scrapbook for my son. I also cut up Christmas cards and make tags for Christmas gifts with them. I have a stamp somewhere that says "to" and "from" which I will place on the back of these little recycled goodies. I'll leave you with some pics.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Some Thrifty Finds

Here are my finds from the other day. First up are those magazine holders I picked up back before Valentines Day (59c each). Actually, two were marked 99c and the other two were marked 59c, and the cashier said she could give them to me for all 59c. Yippee!

I like how one of them is a different color than the others. I plan on spray painting them, however I think I'll still make one of them a different color than the others. I have red and orange spray paint. I think I'll do three red and one orange just for a punch of color. I think I also may decoupage "J O E L" on them. Another idea I had was to use chalkboard paint... I can't decide!

And below we have an opened package of Christmas letter paper (50c), an unopened baby footprint kit still in the shrinkwrap ($2.92), and a children's book of Mozart's The Magic Flute (50c). The music teacher in me can't pass up books on music! The binding was pretty bad, but my friend said just a little elmers glue (even could be watered down elmers glue) would fix it right up. She was right! I put some elmers glue in the binding, and then wedged it between a few objects so that it would stand upright, binding side down, until it dried. Voila! It's fixed!

Some Kitchen-y Stuff

The baby is sleeping, so hubby and I are just sitting around watching "Cash Cab." How exciting. I have some thrifted stuff to photograph still sitting in the trunk of my car, but it's just too cold for me to venture out into the garage. In the meantime, we can enjoy some photos of things in my kitchen.
Here's a vintage thrifted scale that I rarely use but had to have it
A pyrex bowl I found at a garage sale for probably a buck or less. I don't remember for sure how much it cost because I found it several years ago, but I know it was cheap or I wouldn't have gotten it!
A place to store my knives. I found this beauty at a flea market for a buck or so.
About a third of my collander collection. All thrifted and garage sale finds! I love the little one :) It had a broken handle when I bought it, so my then-boyfriend fixed it for me
I found this little wooden thingie at a thrift store years ago, painted the recycling sign onto the lid, and now use it for my recycling (duh)
Last but not least, here are two of the three reusable lunch sacks I sewed a few weeks ago. I used this tutorial and a thrifted vinyl tablecloth that cost me a buck. I used them for several weeks before I stopped working and went on maternity leave. They are holding up well!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rabbit Fabric

Valentine's Day is over, and now I am ready for Easter! Yes, I realize I am skipping over St. Patty's Day, but Easter is so much more fun.
This green bunny fabric is a shirt I got as a gift several years ago.
This baby bunny fabric came new from Joanns several years ago. It was too cute to pass up. Now that I have a little boy, it's perfect! I'm sure I'll come up with something to make with it. Anyone have any ideas of what Joel needs? I have lots of bibs, clothes, blankets, wash cloths, etc. already. I'm thinking of some kind of toy...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Upcylced NY Rangers Bib

My baby is going to be raised to be environmentally-friendly! Unfortunately Mommy is not a very good ironer and if you look carefully (actually you don't really have to look all that carefully as it's pretty obvious...) you can see a (not-so) slight iron-burn. Bummer. Then I had a bright idea: I tea-stained the entire onesie to hide the burn. It looks good now!

Remember this NY Rangers towel I thrifted yesterday for 59c?

Now it's this:
I added the thrifted towel to a piece of remnant fabric from my stash. I wanted to use a plain red fabric for the upper part of the bib however apparently I am out of the one I was thinking of. Oh well, this plaid looks pretty good too. I still have to add some rick rack or ribbon but I just can't decide! I don't have any rick rack so if I go that route, I'll have to buy some. I pulled out a few ribbons and bias tapes that might work. I really had my heart set on red, but this is what I have in my stash:

Here's some thrifted teal bias tape

And some thrifted light green bias tape

I don't think that this will be the winner. I like this green ribbon the least. Actually I was planning on making a binkie clip with this scrap of ribbon.

An interview from Sew, Mama, Sew!

I'm just sitting around waiting for the hubby to wake up so I can get showered and start my day. I would like to get some red rick rack to finish up the NY Rangers bib I made yesterday, and then of course since I'll be going right past it, I'll stop in at the Pickerington Goodwill, even though it isn't the best thrift store. Actually it's my least favorite one because it's small and pretty expensive, but it will have to do for today!

I found on Sew, Mama, Sew's blog where she has been asking fabric questions, so I thought I would play along:

What do you usually sew?
I started out by sewing mostly home-dec stuff (pillows, slipcovers, etc), however then I ventured out to sewing clothes. I made myself four maternity shirts and several maternity dresses, although the dresses were tank top style and therefore didn't see any use for this pregnancy. It's just been too cold to wear dresses anyway. Lastly, I've gotten into sewing things for baby like felt food, fabric blocks and toys, etc.

When you shop for fabric, what size cuts do you usually buy? (i.e. If you see something beautiful, but you don’t have a use for it right away, how much do you buy?) I don't think I've purchased new fabric at all lately. I've made a pledge to myself that I would repurpose thrifted clothes, and I've been sticking to it. Actually I made a pledge to myself that I wouldn't buy any more fabric at all until I get this stash to a more manageable level, however with the arrival of Joel, I need to build up my stash of little boy fabrics. Or at least that's what I tell myself.

Do you buy on impulse or do you go out looking for something you need?
Usually I am just out thrifting and I see some fabric that catches my eye at a price that's just right so I'll scoop it up. I might have it in my head that I am looking for baby pants fabric for example, and then I'll find something that I could chop up and make nice pants out of.

Are you a pre-washer? If you are, do you wash your fabric before you need it, or only when you’re ready to use it? If I get it new at Joanns, then no I usually don't prewash it (I am so bad...) however when I get something at a thrift store, I do wash it. Although if it's at a thrift store, it's probably already been washed so the shrinkage factor doesn't really come into play; it's more for my peace of mind.

Do you iron it? Ha. This one made me laugh out loud. Um, not so much.

How do you sort it? (color, print size, collection, etc.) Another question that made me laugh. There's no sorting. It's just dumped into plastic totes since Joel kicked me out of my sewing room.

Do you have any special folding techniques? See above. No sorting, no folding, no ironing. I'm a bit of a slob.

How do you store your fabric?
I have four large plastic bins and I jam-pack as much as I can into those.

What tips do you have for building up a well-rounded stash?
Since I am a music teacher, I am a firm believer that a well-rounded education includes studies in the arts and physical education. I will have to try harder to teach my fabric stash how to play musical instruments and run laps. I would have to say though that fabric scraps don't talk back and generally do what I say, so we should have a good time learning about the arts and becoming well-rounded!

When do you say enough is enough?
Um, I don't know that I've ever said "enough is enough."

What are some of your favorite stash-busting projects?
Lately it's been stuff for Joel. I like making fabric food :)

Do you have a current favorite print in your stash? Let’s see it! Hmmm, I'd have to say that my cowboys and indians themed fabrics are among my favorite finds right now. I can't wait for Joel to be old enough to care! I posted pics a few weeks back so you can see them.

What’s your definition of the perfect stash?
Perfect for me means saving fabrics from the racks at a thrift store and revitalizing that little gem into something that my family will treasure! If it's second hand, it's perfect :)

Don't cry over spilled expressed breast milk

Phew, breast feeding is time consuming. I think we're settling into a routine now though, which is nice. I pump and bottle it since he doesn't latch on very well; we share the responsibility of feeding expressed breast milk to Joel. Although Joel somehow got the impression that daddy is the milk-maker of the family... He always roots around looking for the nipple when Jason is holding him but for some reason doesn't do it to me as much.

So yesterday I was pumping again, and afterwards I just let the bottles sit on the couch for a bit before getting up to put them in the fridge. I am so sore and getting up off the couch can be quite a chore. (I'm a poet and I didn't even know it!) Eventually Jason walked over and noticed that one of the bottles had slowly leaked all over the couch. Eek! My liquid gold! All. Over. The. Couch. Jason didn't seem to think it was that big of a deal. I'll make more anyway, right? But I was absolutely horrified! My hard work, wasted!

Something else about breast feeding that I find intriguing is that milk sprays out of many holes. I had read that online a few months ago, but that was news to me! I had just assumed there was one hole. I think it's neat to watch the milk spray out into the bottles. I'm so glad that the pump is clear so I can watch. It's not nearly as gratifying when Joel is latched on because I can't see the milk come spraying out. Am I weird, or does/did anyone else feel that way too? Shouldn't I be feeling gratification when Joel does latch on rather than feeling slightly bummed that I can't see the milk spray out?

Ugh, Joel needs a diaper change. It's going to be a gross one from the sound of it. *Gulp*

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The long awaited baby post!

My water originally broke when I was getting ready for work (6:45 AM) on Friday, February 13. Joel was born almost 23 hours later at 5:22 AM on Valentines Day. The water was just trickling down my leg, and I wasn't 100% sure that it was my water breaking. I thought I might have just peed myself. So I called into work and told them that I think my water had broken and that I would not be in. I waited until the doctors office opened at 9 and gave them a call. They said that even if it was just trickling, I still needed to go to the hospital. I called hubby to come home from work. Once he got home and we were all packed, I then realized that I still had several instruments in my car from the after-school rehearsal the evening before. I needed to swing by school and drop them off, which we did, and then we were off to the hospital. We finally got there around 11 AM.

The first chunk of time was okay because I wasn't even feeling the contractions, but by 3PM, they were starting to get painful. I had been stuck at 3-4 centimeters for the past couple weeks, and eventually I made it to 5cm with the help of pitocin. I was stuck at 5cm pretty much all day. They eventually decided they needed to break my water even though it had already broken on its own that morning. They used what looked like a knitting needle and a big gush of water came out. Fast forward several hours later, and they discovered they needed to break my water again. One of the two nurses said she only ever had to break someone's water twice on one occasion, but the other nurse said that one time she had to break someone's water four times.

By 9-something that night I decided that it was time for an epidural. I still could talk through the contractions however I figured there was really no point in waiting since I knew I wanted one. About 10 minutes later, the anesthesiologist was there to prepare my back for the epidural. She did all the prep work, and then I got this severe urge to pee. The nurse tried to tell me that the feeling would pass after I got the epidural, but I really had to go. I ended up peeing 600mL. The nurse exclaimed, "You really did need to go!" Yes, that is what I said, isn't it?!

Getting the epidural wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. The pinch to numb my back hurt about as much as getting an IV. I couldn't even feel any pain whatsoever when they were putting the catheter into my back. What I didn't like at all was what she said would feel like a "zing." It felt like my right leg was being attacked with a cattle prod or something. I flinched and started to cry. Then the anesthesiologist said, "We're done," but she said it in a way that made me think we had to try again. I began to cry harder because I thought I had messed it up when I flinched and we had to start over, but luckily that was not the case!

After midnight, I went from 5cm to 10cm in about two hours! The doctor could not believe it. She even asked for a second opinion because of how rapidly I had progressed during those two hours.

After that was smooth sailing except for the fact that I was tired as all get-out. After I reached 10cm, they let me rest for an hour, and then the pushing began. I pushed for almost 2 hours. Finally the nurse said that she was going to call the doctor in to perform a vacuum extraction. The doctor gave me a choice between a vacuum extraction and a c-section, and I chose a vacuum extraction. This did the trick after just two sets of pushing. When Joel came out, I threw up for the third and final time. I was puking my guts out and completely missed it when Jason cut the cord. They took Joel away to get cleaned up, and afterwards Jason got to hold him. He held him by me so that I could see him too. It would be 45 minutes until I could hold him.

I ended up with 3rd degree tears (anal muscle actually tore whereas 1st and 2nd tears are mostly just skin). I heard the nurse going off-shift tell the new nurse that the tearing was "extensive." It took 45 minutes to get sewn up. I asked the doctor how many stitches I had, and she said she wasn't counting. Ok, so alot then I take it.

Unfortunately, Joel suffered from shoulder dystocia during birth which is most likely what caused the 3rd degree tears. I've read on online forums where people compared having c-sections with 3rd degree tears that most doctors will make the woman have a c-section the second time around if she had 3rd degree tears the first time. I haven't talked to my doctor yet but I will ask her about this. Most people who have had both say that the 3rd degree tear is actually worse than having a c-section. Hindsight is 20/20; I should have gone with the c-section when she gave me the choice!

Here is a photo of Joel at home in his little cowboy outfit. He's so cute!

Here's the hobby horse I made Joel. I guess he finds it quite scary!

Find your style with this quiz

Today I saw a link from How About Orange's blog to On Sproost, you can take a quiz to see what your decorating style is. I'm 45% Nantucket Style, 27% Mountain Lodge Style, and 28% Traditional Country. That sounds about right!

Thrifting for the Newborn Babe

I had to get out of the house today. I was told not to drive for two weeks, and it's only been five days, but I had to get out none-the-less. My husband's cousin's daughter is turning one in a week, so I went to Kohls to find her a gift. Of course then I was near the Eastland mall thrift stores, so I stopped in.

Above you can see today's finds. I got a plain white onesie (50c because it was half off today), and then I found a new package of two pro-recycling iron-on transfers (50c) to go with it. I also found a little bottle to screw into my breast pump (30c), a Halloween bandana for making these adorable bandana pants (29c), and a NY Rangers towel that I plan on turning into a bib (59c). My husband loves the Rangers, so I was glad to find that towel! Columbus now has its own professional hockey team, so he also loves the Blue Jackets, but he's loved the Rangers since childhood. I also have two Columbus Blue Jackets flags that we got for free at a game once. They have some advertising for Nationwide Insurance on them, so I cut the advertising out of them and will make a bib out of them too. Two bibs maybe; one for Joel and one for his 2 1/2 month old cousin.

Here are the adorable little ties I got Joel a week or two ago when on a thrifting expedition, along with a little book about music. Yellow tags were half off that day, yay!

And lastly, a little metal thermos that I had my eyes on ($1.59). I actually saw a different one a few weeks ago but didn't get it. When I went back, it was gone and I was totally kicking myself. I saw this one later and scooped it up.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Valentine's Day Gift from Hubby

This is what hubby made me for Valentines Day :) He finished it yesterday since I unexpectedly went into labor on the 13th. It turned out to be good though, because he was able to get the Hershey kisses for much less since Valentines Day had already passed!

Here's what he did in case you want to mimic this candy holder. First, he found directions for this on a kindergarten craft website. He said he thought he could handle a craft meant for five-year-olds. He gathered an applesauce container, red spray paint, a piece of ribbon, a small piece of fabric, masking tape for taping off the heart pattern, and some white paint to highlight the heart shape. Voila, a wonderful recycled craft for Valentines Day!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Stash is here despite the newborn's arrival

Hello folks. I'm in the hospital after a lengthy birth... more about that will come later. Luckily I photographed some fabric a few days ago, because otherwise there would be no Sunday stash today. I can't sleep, so I figured 1 AM would be a good time to get online and post some photos of Valentiney fabric that I have. A day late and a dollar short, yes I know, but that's the story of my life!

The fabric above was a Joanns purchase years ago. The one directly below was too.

This one is a set of thrifted pillow shams from a long time ago. I used them as pillow shams for a few years, got sick of them, and now they're in my fabric stash to cut up and use as I see fit. I was going to do some kind of Valentiney craft with fabric however with the little one's arrival, I never got around to it!

Friday, February 13, 2009

I'm in the hospital, and this baby is coming! Now the only question is, will he be here before or after midnight?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Netflix Oragami.... Who'd a-thunk it?

Ok, so hubby finally came around on the whole let's-make-our-valentines-day-gifts-so-we-can-save-money conversation. I think he read my blog post the other day and had a change of heart.

So now that it's a green light, I've been online looking for little free ideas for Valentines Day. I found Netflix Oragami. Yes, folks, make oragami from your discarded netflix envelopes. Perfect for V-day because of their red color!

I'm glad hubby finally agreed to do a free Valentines Day, because I would have felt like a total cheap-skate having this conversation with him on Saturday:

Hubby: Happy Valentines Day, sweetheart. Because I love you so much, I got you this beautiful diamond tennis bracelet.

Me: Oh, it's beautiful! Gee, you shouldn't have.... here's your present. I dug out the old netflix envelopes from the recycle bin and made you some paper hearts. It was either the heart or this runt pony [What the hell is a runt pony?] I actually thought about making you this crab too but then I figured you didn't really want to get crabs for Valentines Day.

Um, yeah.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sun Tea, anyone?

I miss summer. We are having a small taste of spring right now with temps in the 40s-50s and a rain storm! It’s making me really, really, really antsy for warm weather!

A few weeks ago I thrifted this sun tea container for 99c. I obviously haven’t been able to use it so far because 1) we aren’t getting much sun, and 2) any liquids left outside would have frozen almost immediately with those extremely cold temps we had been experiencing.

In the meantime, we can all enjoy these photos of the sun tea container, and we can imagine what the delicious tea will taste like! The above photo is where I keep my tea stash- on the kitchen window ledge in a vintage thrifted wire basket. I heart wire baskets!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentines Day Magnets

I couldn't wait to give my husband these little magnets I made for him for Valentines Day, so it's okay for me to post them now. I made ten, however I was having some trouble photographing them, so not all of them are shown. I also had to adjust the lighting with my editing software, so the colors aren't exactly true to life. It is neat, though, how you can change the photo by fine tuning the brightness, color, etc.

Holding my heart in the palm of his hand

These weren't made for my husband; I just wanted to make some neato red magnets. I found a page in a magazine with several different red tablecloths that was perfect. I like the speckled one so much that I think I might make a necklace out of it.

Want to make some for your sweetie? It's easy! I posted how I did it a few days ago, so check it out :) I'll warn you though, once you start, it's hard to stop!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Making a Hobby Horse

I went out shopping today to look for a frame for the pop art photo of my husband's cousin's child. I visited several dollar stores and the two thrift stores by the mall and found several that would work, however none that really floated my boat. I didn't get a frame yet, so I'll have to go out again hunting this weekend.

The thrift store that was having the 50% off sale on toys the other day now has 75% off of toys! I found a new-in-the-package digital timer/bookmark that students can use to time how long they read. It was originally marked 30c- you do the math! Its tag said it was originally 9 bucks. Also, I picked up a hard back book about a singing moose (this band director can't pass up a book about music). Children's books are 50c, however apparently it was 75% off too! I got both for twenty cents. Now that's a good trip to the shops!

Next door I scored four magazine holders (I've been eyeing them at Staples and Office Max for awhile, but ten to fifteen dollars each is just too steep for my blood). They're pretty dingy right now however it's nothing that a bit of spray paint can't fix. They were 60c each. I might do something with them to make them Valentine-y for Jason since he's finally agreed to have a make-it-yourself V-day. I also found two little children's clip-on ties that had yellow tags. Yellow= 50% off. One ended up being a quarter, and the other 35c.

I have been wanting to make a hobby horse for Joel since I found a dowel rod the other day in my room at school. I have no idea where it came from, and no one has claimed it, and it's been a couple weeks. I figure it's trash and otherwise free for the taking. Either that or I could reinstate corporal punishment with it. That sounds good to me, but I might get some pushback from parents and kids...

Anyway, so today at the 75%-off-toys-thrift-store, I found a hobby horse that was originally $1.91. That would make the darn thing less than 50c. Geesh. I contemplated getting it and saving myself from sewing one, but then I stopped myself. Where's the fun in buying one, when I can cuss out my sewing machine for a few hours while making one?

So when I got home, I got busy. I picked out a piece of Nan's hand-me-down vintage 70s brown and tan fabric for the head of the horse. Let me warn you, when you look at this fabric too long, it will make you hungry for chocolate and butterscotch pudding. Seriously. Unless it's just me.

I used some yellow yarn for the mane, some buttons for the eyes, a solid brown for the reins, and little key chain thingies for the circular metal parts that the reins go through. I was especially pleased with myself over that last one. A pure stroke of genius if you ask me.

I put it all together (minus the dowel rod which is still at work), and have posted a picture of what I have so far. Here's a close-up of the reins.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My son, the unborn-rock-star-in-training

I fell in love with these guitar softies today. And I had just the right fabric for it... leftover music themed fabric that I bought years ago when I first started teaching. I have a window in my office that looks out to the practice room next door, and I wanted curtains for that window.

It really wasn't hard to make this guitar. I looked at some pictures, then freehanded one onto a few pieces of junk mail taped together to make my pattern. I then did all the obvious stuff, like pinned it onto the fabric, cut it out, put the fabric right sides together and repinned, and then sewed around the perimeter. I left two holes for stuffing, one at the bottom and one in the neck of the guitar. I turned it right side out, ironed it, and then realized I forgot to sew on the felt pieces. I ended up just using hem tape and my trusty iron to attach the felt pieces. Hem tape is my best friend.

I then stuffed the little guitar with thrifted still-in-the-package polyfill, and then topstitched the openings closed. That part sucked, but I don't think Joel will notice. He'll be too busy rockin' out to Def Lepard and Guns and Roses. Ah, those were the days.

Here's a closeup of the fabric choice